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Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Shaving is something that most men do every day but seldom give much thought to. That said, putting a little effort into your hair removal routine can yield dividends in added comfort and improved skin. Turn your morning chore into a spa-like indulgence with these simple tips:

Pre-Shave

While most men are accustomed to just slopping on some drug store shaving foam and hacking away at their morning stubble, a good pre-shave routine can improve both the quality of your shave and dramatically reduce any irritation to your precious face.

1. Take a HOT shower

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    While many of us rely on a hot shower in the morning to shock us into consciousness, steaming up the bathroom can also be a great first step in your shaving routine. Steam causes the pores in your face to relax and the skin to soften, allowing your razor to slide smoothly across your morning mug.

    2. Soften your beard

    While in the shower, apply a generous coating of hair conditioner into your beard and work it in with your fingertips. Let the conditioner stay on your beard for a couple of minutes, allowing it to soften the hair on your face.

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    3. Use a Pre-Shave Oil

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      Once you get out of the shower, your beard and the skin underneath it will be soft and supple, and by applying a layer of pre-shave oil, you can help to keep it that way by locking in the moisture. In addition, oil helps to lubricate the blade as it moves across the contours of your face, reducing nicks and irritation. While you can buy specialty shaving oils, you can also use plain old olive, coconut, canola or just about any other oil that you can think of… save for that which goes in your car.

      Shave Time

      Finally, the main event! Now that your face is good and ready, we can get out the razor and begin the precision process of shaving.

      4. Use a sharp blade

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        Whether you rock a straight edge blade, DE safety razor or a plain old Mach 3 disposal, the important thing is that whatever you use is sharp. With razor cartridge prices being as insanely high as they are, you can see why some dudes opt to reuse the same blade for three months straight, until it is basically just tearing the hair from their face… don’t be that guy, it is not worth the money you are saving. Change blades as soon as they start to drag across your beard as opposed to gliding smoothly. Most disposable blades are only good for a week’s worth of shaving, sometimes less. If you find that changing your razor cartridges that often is bleeding you dry, consider switching to a double edge safety razor, the blades are ultra sharp and dirt cheap.

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        5. Apply a high quality shaving cream

        Ditch that old can of Barbasol and pick up a high quality shaving cream made with all natural ingredients that will not only improve your shave but nourish your skin. Avoid any product that contains parabens or silicone. If you want a real treat, try using a high quality badger or boar hair shaving brush to get a really good lather going, you will thank me.

        6. Use short strokes

        There is a common shaving misconception that it is better to make long, continuous strokes, from upper cheek to the bottom of your neck. In actuality, you are better off with short precise strokes which allow you to better control the amount of downward pressure you are placing on your razor, which helps limit irritation.

        7. First, shave with the grain

        On your first run, shave in the direction of your hair growth. This will help you to remove the bulk of the hair and cause minimal irritation.

        8. Then shave across and against the grain

        After your initial shave, reapply shaving cream and completely clean your razor before shaving across the grain and then finally against the grain for a super close shave that might just keep your five o’clock shadow at bay for a few extra hours.

        Post-Shave

        Now that the hard part is over, there are just a few more steps to make sure that your money-maker looks great after losing its hairy top coat.

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        9. Rinse your face with cold water

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          Remove any remaining shaving cream or pre-shave oil by splashing your face with cold water, which will close your pores and tighten the skin of your face.

          10. Use an Alum Block

          Go buy an alum block… it’s okay, we’ll wait. Alright, now wet that alum block and gently run it across your freshly shaved face and prepare to feel every spot that you nicked just moments earlier. Alum is a mild antiseptic that will help to instantly seal any minor cuts while cooling and refreshing your skin.

          11. Apply a toner

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            Splash a little witch hazel or any other high quality toner onto your skin and wipe it off with a cotton pad to remove any excess oils form your skin.

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            12. Moisturize

            If your skin feels dry after your shaving routine, be sure to apply a moisturizer, preferably one with SPF protection to the dry areas and work it in gently with your fingertips.

            Congratulations! You look awesome and there are no little bits of toilet paper currently stuck to your face… Welcome to paradise.

            What do you think? Share your shaving secrets in the comments.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Thompson / Classic safety razor via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2018

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

            If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

            One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

            Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

            In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

            Why you can’t sleep through the night

            The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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            Stress

            If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

            Exposure to blue light before sleep time

            We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

            While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

            Eating close to bedtime

            Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

            Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

            Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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            Medical conditions

            In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

            The vicious sleep cycle

            The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

            Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

            You get a bad night’s sleep
            –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
            –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
            –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

              You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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              How to sleep better (throughout the night)

              To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

              1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

              What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

              Here are a few suggestions:

              • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
              • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
              • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
              • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
              • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

              What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

              • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
              • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
              • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
              • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

              3. Adjust your sleep temperature

              Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

              Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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              Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

              Sleep better form now on

              Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

              I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

              As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

              Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

              Reference

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